Guest Review: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence – A Miracle Water?

by Paris B on · 51 comments

in Product Reviews,Toner/Lotion,Treatment

PB Says: I used SK-II quite a few years ago. I’d used the whole range available then, and like Geekchic, my favourite item then was the Facial Treatment Essence or Miracle Water as it is labeled. As it has been a while for me (I no longer use SK-II for various reasons – even the FTE stopped working for me), I decided to have new SK-II user Geekchic review the SK-II Facial Treatment Lotion. This is her story :)

Having shut down my blog, without an outlet to channel my thoughts and opinions, Paris has very kindly given me a slot to hash my thoughts out (shut me up). I promise you will not hear very much from me!

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence or "Miracle Water"

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence – A review

A common street name for this product, I’m told, is Miracle Water. As much as I like this product, I’m a little hesitant about bestowing upon it the title “miracle”. I have no idea why I made this plunge into SK-II, to be honest. I happened to be in Myer on Bourke St. They happened to have a 15% discount on all makeup and skincare products for Myer One cardholders. And as they like to say in the show business, the rest is history.

I’ve been using this steadily for a month now and it’s safe to say that it’s a product that works on my very temperamental skin. So temperamental that I’ve not found a single Clinique product which works on me. A little background on my skin texture, it’s dry to very dry in winter but now that we’re heading right smack into summer, my skin is slowly returning to its normal state. It’s not oily nor dry; yes, I’m thankful for it but I’m often bugged by dry patches and fine lines.

Texture of the SK-II FTE

Unlike regular serums, the Facial Treatment Essence (henceforth known as FTE) is a form of liquid. To be completely honest, I was a little skeptical. I mean, how is it possible that a few drops of liquid would completely transform my skin?


Weird. It’s completely unpleasant if you’re not used to it. It’s like fermented something. However, once it’s dry, there isn’t a hint of it whatsoever. I’m told it’s the patented Pitera. The secret to making this product one of SK-II’s bestseller.


To use this, I pour about 3-4 drops onto my palm, rub them together lightly and gently massage it onto the skin until it’s completely dry. This product is gentle enough to be used around the eye area as well.

How much SK2 Facial Treatment Essence to use

The sales assistant at SK-II advised of just patting it onto the skin but I find gently massaging it works as well. The other reason to wanting to massage it is because the air in Melbourne is so dry, it just makes me feel that the air is drying up the FTE rather than getting massaged into my skin. Then, it’s just regular moisturiser (I use Olay Total Effects) and sunscreen on top. I skip the toner part because I feel weird using 2 liquids one after another.

Results after using SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

As with most skincare, I would advise everyone to be wary of any miraculous claims. I’m in a state of being cautiously-optimistic. Optimistic because:

  • The product has not broken me out at all.
  • It has shown significant improvement in my skin texture. I have terribly dry skin during winter and when the harsh sunlight shines upon these patches, you can see that the skin is terribly uneven (with bumps and some craters from my teenage acne days) and extremely dehydrated. Ever since the use of the FTE, these patches are slowly replaced by plumped skin. The litmus test for this is when we approach winter and the plumped skin remains.
  • I’m being a little cautious with my optimism because it is right smack in the middle of summer and with the cooler going on at all times, my skin is actually getting hydrated from the air! (The evaporative cooler blows out air that’s cooled by water so there’s extra moisture in the air)
  • My skin tone has always been even so I cannot tell if this has evened out the skin tone.

Pros: It works but I will not be calling it the Miracle Water.

Cons: Expensive. SKII is one of the more expensive skincare products in the market.

If you can get it from duty free stores, it is worth giving it a go. It’s retailing for AUD100 for a 75ml bottle in Myer/David Jones. [PB Adds: In Malaysia its currently RM187/75ml]

Have you used this “Miracle Water” and do you have a story (good or bad) to share?

Geekchic and Paris B are all ears :)

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[ 50 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

February 18, 2010 at 9:33 am

Holy smelly water! 😛 That’s what Is call it. It works well for me, making my skin soft and “toing-toing” just after a week or two of use. The smell still takes a bit of getting used to though. Definitely not a pleasant one, but since it works, I’m willing to forgive the fermented scent :)


sesame February 18, 2010 at 9:55 am

My male hairstylist swears by this. I don’t know. Never tried it but did consider trying it recently. Just that it’s so blardy ex and I’m not a fan of SK-II.


Suria February 18, 2010 at 11:03 am

Hi paris! I’ve tried the miracle water for 3-4 months. It was working well initially but after the 3rd months i.e 2nd bottle, my skin was getting drier. I do not know why but my friend said that I should be using the whole range to get the effect. I wasnt sure of that though as im also not willing to fork out extra cash for SKII any longer.


Marianne February 18, 2010 at 11:07 am

I have not tried it but lots of my friends have and some loved, some hated. Apparently some people reacted to the Miracle water. Skin was once smooth and after using that, they had terrible breakout and some people said it’s really a MIRACLE water to them cos it improved their skin texture. I would like to try… if only they’re abit cheaper! :)


Michelle February 18, 2010 at 11:38 am

A long time ago I have tried the FTE. It didn’t break me out or cause me to get a eczema reaction (which is rare and good) but it was hardly miraculous. It did help to keep skin more hydrated but it wasn’t too kind on the wallet!. I’ve found a cheaper spoof with the Madara Deep Comfort Toner (RM88/200ml). You will find that it smells quite similar too! Cos it contains naturally fermented grain alcohol which helps hydrate skin plus preserve the product, plus rosewater and glycerin, all very hydrating. Works just as well for me. And because it’s quite affordable…. I sometimes soak a cotton pad or two and lay it over the driest part of my face as a quick hydrating mask. Works a wonder!


Jyoan February 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm

For people whom Miracle Water doesn’t works well on, it’s probably the fermented ingredient, aka Pitera. I’ve heard that it works as a decomposer, so using SK II everyday means decomposing your skin everyday.

In this way, skin continually dies and renew to give you baby skin all the time. Think chemical peel… … Which is why some, like Suria, experience dry skin, a symptom of all peeling treatments.

Ginvera Marvel gel works on the same basis too. Instructions say to use everyday, but I suspect using everyday may potentially cause dry and sensitive skin too.

It’s better to eat well and boost the skin’s natural renewal process, and natural collagen and/or vitamin content. In other words, healthy skin rather than superficial changes.

I have heard miracle stories from SK II, but all good things ended when the user just can’t afford to keep using it.


Shay February 18, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Oh yes, I heard the same too. The top layer of the skin is being eaten away every day. Kind of scary to me.


Jean February 18, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I have a bottle and don’t find it miracle either..
I used it for two weeks then put it aside already..


entwined February 18, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I started using the FTE nightly since two years ago. In the first few weeks to a couple of months, the results were fantastic. I could see visible improvement in my skin texture. After that I just continued using it to maintain my skin condition. But recently I experienced a very bad acne breakout, so I stopped all unnecessary products and just used mild soap, aloe vera gel and sunblock only. Luckily, my skin didn’t deteriorate from the lack of SK II. I was very happy about this because I’ve heard horrible cases where people’s skin got worse after they stopped SKII as their skin has gotten dependent on it. After I’ve nursed my skin back to health, I don’t think I’ll be going back to the FTE, as it’s not that much of a “miracle” after all.


JellyBean February 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Been using the FTE for 3 years and will continue using it as long l still can afford. Its really doen wonder for my skin, Well, its better than spending money going for facial every month. Miracle really happen with SKII !


February 18, 2010 at 5:19 pm

I know that SK-II works for many people and I’ve very glad that it worked for you! It’s certainly great to have relief from dry skin
Although, I’m not sure if I’d get one for myself since there are cheaper alternatives out there that seem to give similar effects such as the Hada Labo lotion/toner


Melissa February 19, 2010 at 1:47 am

i’ve heard that your skin will get “addicted” to it and when u stop using it, ur skin condition will deteriorate. don’t know how true is this as i’m personally not an SK-II user.


Claire March 28, 2010 at 10:32 am

i don’t know if i should go ahead and buy it because i have acne prone skin, and you can see my pores. my skin is very sensitive aswell. so i don’t know if SK-II facial treatment essence will work its wonders


Wendy May 5, 2010 at 10:11 pm

SK-II promoters insisted that I pour FTE on cotton pad before applying to face but I prefer to pour on palm then apply to face direct. Is this ok or do I have to use cotton pad as mentioned by promoter?


Zareena August 2, 2012 at 12:51 pm

No, you dont hv to use cotton pad to apply the FTE. I’ve bn using it for many many years and just use my palm and apply em direct to my face. It’s just too expensive to waste it on the cotton pad!


Maria June 30, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I’ve been using SK II for 4 months. cleanser, lotion and FTE. It really works. pimple stop ‘half way’. dare not to come-out. its true


yen April 17, 2013 at 4:51 pm

i also have pimples on my face. so wondering which cleanser and lotion of SK II do u use so the pimple didnt come out anymore?


Michelle November 10, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Does SKII FTE helps in anti aging and face lifting?


Frances December 9, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I’ve been using this daily for 1 year and everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE) says that my skin has improved. It has achieved the ‘pun-yu pun-yu’ (Japanese) state and definitely the “wo de pi fu shi sui sui de” (Sammi Cheng, SKII commercial). It generally means that if you press a finger into your cheek, it will bounce back.
It may be expensive, but no regrets! Good skin is part of a woman’s asset after all.


wei December 10, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Think twice before changing your skin care ! I’d my bad experience in using SKII. I do not have any skin problem all this while , only hoping to have the skin as in the adverts. Tried out the full skin range, after using a few weeks, my skin was smoother but after few montlhs my cheeks turned itchy and there were also red patches ! Guess what i was suspected to have SLE ( systemic lupus) but later it was found out to be enzema after using this so called “miracle water” ..


Teresa October 13, 2013 at 10:31 pm

I am having the same problem, my cheeks and neck turned very itchy and there are also red patches. I guess I am having enzema due to the use of SK II. Did you go and see doctor? Or will it resolved by stop using it?


Amy January 1, 2011 at 11:41 pm

I was using SK2 product for two years and it did wonders
for my skin back then. But stopped using the products in 2006 when
it was found to contain banned substances. Now, fast forward to
year 2010. This past year, I had teribble skin breakouts and no
matter what I do, be it changing skin care or taking supplements,
it doesn’t seemed to get better, and at times, it got very bad. I
was having pimples and big nasty acne almost all the time. So one
month ago, I decided to use SK2 again and started off with the
toner and the FTE hoping that it would turn things aroung. The
sales promoter also gave me a small tub(I mean really small, kinda
of cute tho) of the new product called Cellumination Deep Surge to
try out. Boy! was I glad she let me try it out. In a short period
of less than a week, all my pimples died. My acne goes flat!. In
the second week, all pimples and acne cleared but still have some
red marks. By this time, that small tub of miracle finished and I
went to get my fix and bought myself a big tub of Cellumination
Deep Surge. And, I also got the Cellumination Essence. I’m currenly
in my 4th week of using the products and my skin has never been
better than this for a very long time. The scars are fading and I’m
glowing! Seriously. Whoa! I’m really glad I got back to


Stella January 2, 2011 at 1:33 am

Hi all,

Im just started using SK II for 10 days , but my face getting all the red pimple over all the face . anyone having the same problem as me ??

Im worry !!! should i continue use it or stop it ?


ainn maya March 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm

same problem with me and i also dont know either to stop or continue…


sal April 3, 2011 at 3:08 pm

yea…me too..i’ve used it for more then 3 months already..but lately…its so itchy n red pimple start scattered…o god…?


karin July 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm

im having a same problem as well,i just used sk11 for 1 month but mine the pimple feel pain too.what should ido…pls help.should i get back to my old produck


tina June 17, 2012 at 7:35 pm

stella..i do like u for the first time using this.Then i continue use it.and the pimples stop.and get better day after day..and gone wthout any black mark.i love use m.water.make my skin smoother,and toing2 too….


JOanne December 5, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I started using SK11 skin care products , Clear lotion , FTE, cellumination deep surge. for abour 1 week now . but i having the same condition – itchy and red. can some one advice should i continue using the products? Please help!!!!! urgent


Sin Yee December 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Please do not use the vitamin C everyday… i had the same problem and did the experiment myself and found our that it’s the vitamin C drying out the skin….. go and try and see…


saintangelius February 10, 2011 at 1:23 am

SKII has always brought about mixed feelings in me. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it and I never fail to recommend it to friends but with certain some choice warnings. I’ve been using SKII’s FTE on and off since my Highschool days which was a good 10+ years ago (suddenly feeling old XD) At that time I suffered from the usual Teenage acne with unbelievably oily skin and large clogged pores. FTE and the corresponding moisturiser helped to tame it some what. I didn’t ‘glow’ like the ads but at least I was a shiny disco ball anymore. After that I gradually moved on to other things. I go back to FTE every now and then either on a whim or when I feel particularly unhappy with my skin condition. The last time I used it was last year when I started to develop massive breakouts and cystic acne all over my face but particularly around the jawline. FTE was like and SOS drug that calmed everything down and gave my skin a chance to rest and return to normal. But just as I’m about finished that bottle the acne start creeping back again. Sadly my skin gets accustom to it too quickly so I never go beyond 1 bottle at any one time. Good stuff if you need an emergency pick-me-up but try not to go too long on it.


Zakiah March 16, 2011 at 11:42 am

Hi.. I am a SKII user for almost 7 years now. And I am proud to say that this product really works wonders for me. The secret is “preserverence” and always have faith in this product. I have received so many compliments from friends even strangers. They all thought I was a young lady. Actual fact, I m in my late 30’s :) I was thought 5 years younger :) My journey with SK II as follows: Initial stage probably in first year, you will experience redness or maybe occasional break outs.. recommend to hang on coz that is normal cos this product would cleanse out all the impurities on your skin…this is one way to make your skin tempo is synchronize with miracle water.. Once in same beat, miracle water will become your only skin food. One thing I notice about the miracle water is that the more you put on your face the the more it glows and radiant.. so one more secret, don’t be stingy on amount you put if you want to see the result. All in all, I know SKII is expensive.. hey just spend on must haves only then. For me what work for me combo of Clear Lotion, Miracle Water, Repair C and Signature Cream.. that’s it.. try them, you won’t regret :)


Juliana February 1, 2012 at 1:32 am

Hi, Are you using your combo all together every morning and evening time? I’m now a new SK-II user have been using it steadily for 1 month, and it caused my skin smoother but couple times it breaks me out and some redness n itchy. But i still continue to see better result for longer time. My combo is Clear Lotion, FTE, Repair C but i have additional Cellumination Essence & Deep Surge too.


sal April 3, 2011 at 3:05 pm

i’ve been using the clear lotion of SK II followed by the FTE/ SK II MIRACLE water and ends with the moisturizer (thirst relief by Clinique) since january 2011. almost 4 months already…but this two weeks,i found that, its bit itchy n red pimples came out..whoaa…what’s next ha? i’m this sympthom of good effect by heal the dead cells or…what’s going on me….guyzzz… tq ya


angti May 13, 2011 at 1:53 am

hey there..i am using FTE for about 2 months.. at first i used the clear lotion and FTE..and i should say it was not working very well for me..i gave it a go for about 2 weeks before stopping..after that i change the whole range into hada labo arbutin series..this one works pretty well but i cannot simply left my 200 RM FTE i mixed it with hada labo arbutin lotion and essence..and i start to get the skin looks so much more radiant..even the dark circle around my eyes are dissipating and my eyes look less baggy..really makes me look younger..i also add The Bodyshop vitamin c microdermabration cream for weekly treatment (or whenever i see my facial skin starts to go dull), it really helps to remove dead skin cells..(coz i think the FTE makes your skin cell dead faster to replace it with newer ones) hada labo + SK II FTE+ TBS vit c microdermabration = wonderful skin for me!! any question? (email me at


Pauline June 21, 2011 at 11:16 am

I just want to know if i need to use toner before applying the clear lotion?


ParisB June 21, 2011 at 11:19 am

As far as I know, this one IS toner. You might find this post on toner and lotion useful.


nana June 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

i used this treatment essence for nearly 4 months. for me i don’t notice anything but it doesn’t do any bad thing. so i think i just want to finished the bottle n i wont repurchased it. but 1 weeks ago i came back home everyone asking what i used for my face as they see my skin is so much radiance. i was like really? not only my family my friends ask me do i wear foundation when i’m in a bare face. but seriously i don’t see any diff in my face. maybe bcoz i look at it everyday. so i think it really does something.


azlina July 1, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I started using SKII a month ago. Truly “miracle” skin smooth, wrinkles disappeared… so happy. Then after about 5 days, skin at the base of my nose start to itch. Then 2 days later, right cheek start to itch. The itch at base of nose start to be red and dry, flaky skin. The cheek become more itchy. I stopped using SKII. Even so, then itch spread to over eye brows. Sooo itchy but I try my best not to scratch. For now, I stop and waiting for itch and redness to subside. I’ve never ever been allergic to anything before. This is the very 1st time in my whole entire 45 years of life. I really don’t know if I’ll try using SKII again after my skin heals. Anyone out there want to try. I can let you have my set for half price. Or if you’re using it already and get good results, maybe you want?


Sweetspring September 24, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Can i just ask a silly question.. how do we apply the essence on the skin? Every time I tried using my palms and quickly pat it to my face, 50% of the liquid just drips down to my wrist… pretty expensive wastage :( and cotton pad soaks alot of the good stuff away…….help lol


September 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Hi Sweetspring, when I was using the SK2 essence, I was told to saturate a piece of cotton pad and then wipe it on my skin. I thought it was a waste so what I used to do is drop about 2-3 drops in my palm, spread it between my palms (if you don’t use so much it won’t drip) and then quickly spread it over my face. There was no wastage that way but you might need a bit of practice to get it just right :)


Simonne October 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I hate reading this blog. Really tempting to buy them after reading.. I have a few list to buy now *EL Hydration Serum, *SKII FTE SHall check out on their Trial set RM199 (SKII) see lah still available bo


Sharon October 14, 2011 at 8:27 am

Tried the miracle water. No different to skin. The sales person advised to use tip it on cotton pads, then apply on face. I ThoT it was a bit wasteful so normally I would pour a few dots on my fingers then re- apply onto face. But every time I drop by the counter, the sales person gives me that kind of look as if I didn’t apply it properly to get the results. What to do, I can’t change my skin.


Clara October 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm

SKII is a brewing byproduct, and as I have some knowledge here let me lend to you without the company spin and hype.

The hydration affect is not from Pitera but the two chemical hydrants they add to it. Butylene and pentylene glycol. No miracle there just standard synthetic moisturizers. They have to add those because the fermented product is actually very drying on the skin. I’ve never had a sample of the FTE to test it’s pH, but if it’s anything like the home brew I made it’s probably pretty acidic. This is what exfoliates the skin and makes it look fresh.

I don’t doubt that the ferment also contains amino acids, vitamins and all the rest. SKII is rice that’s been digested by both yeast and mold so the actives in rice are now in a more bio-available state. Possibly more useful to your skin than otherwise. I don’t buy the whole ‘we’ve got a special yeast and that’s why our product works’ line from SKII. Of course they want you to believe that they’ve got the only formula that works so you will buy it from them. Rice is rice, no matter what yeast is digesting it the only byproducts can be provided is what’s in the rice to begin with. There are now many skin care companies using sake lees in their products and many of them are much cheaper than SKII.

I do doubt these myths about it ruining your skin, your skin getting addicted etc. That has no logical or scientific basis. Skin does not and cannot get addicted to anything. But like all skin care products you only receive the effects of it, while you are using it. The only possible harm would be by irritation or allergic reaction, and if it is highly acidic you may thin your skin through over exfoliation of the epidermis, which actually makes you look older not younger. If you stop using it your skin will return to it’s previous state. Developing a sensitivity to it is highly likely with a fermented product. That’s not something the human body was designed to encounter everyday splashed onto your face.


farah November 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I will start to use fte this evening, hopefully it can make my skin better..


Nicole Lim December 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I’ve always been blessed with good skin (only slightly oily in certain areas), but when I started work as a copywriter in an agency, I started getting REALLY bad pimple breakouts. And this really irritated me. So my guy friend recommended that I start trying the SKII fte, because he swears by it – this guy friend of mine used to have majorly bad acne before using SKII. After about a week of usage, I found that the pimples started to fade and my skin had a nice glow to it.

I have been using it on and off in the evenings for about 1 1/2 years now, and I can safely say that on the morning-afters that i’ve used the SKII, it glows. And on days that I don’t use it, it doesn’t have the same dewy glow. Now, I hardly ever have pimples or breakouts as well.

So I would recommend SKII, but only the FTE though. The creams and moisturizers are simply too rich for my skin.
I bought the largest bottle and still have about 1/2 a bottle left – so it really isn’t that expensive at all, if you would take into consideration the sheer volume and longevity of the product.


Jaqueline January 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm

I used the facial treatment essence for about 2months.. nothing changed..
my large pores still looks the same.. i actually purchased rm 360 SKII skin refiner too..which is totally a bad idea. my skin had terrible break out after 2x using the skin the end i just gave it away to someone else :(
so far, the only SKII product that i would consider buying again is the facial treatment gentle cleanser..


dary April 5, 2013 at 11:00 am

everyone talks about a smell in the FET i just received my bottle that i ordered from sephora and there really is no smell to the product…..should i be worried?


Widad April 5, 2013 at 11:59 am

Hi, Dary. I’ve been using FTE for almost a year now (about 10 months) and i’m seriously in love with it. Bought cleanser, toner and ex cellumination essence as well..extremely love them all. I especially love FTE and ex cellumination essence but its too expensive so i didn’t repurchase. I decided to just stick with FTE. But yeah, the smell is smells like ‘rice water’ and stinks but that’s because of the pitera. So if you said there is no smell at all..then i guess it’s a bit weird..but perhaps for some people, the smell doesn’t really bother them so they may think it’s ok.


zen August 24, 2013 at 10:35 pm

I’ve been using it for a 3 to 4 months now together with the full range of SK ii products: facial wash, toner and moisturizer.i even had whitening spots and did make my pores smaller and my skin glowing but the only really issue I have is: I don’t stop getting breakouts!!! It’s like everyday there’s a new damn pimple coming out. There were a few weeks that my skin “tamed” but now, my pimples are coming out again..I swear I’d like to love skii but it’s getting me depressed already…months of using and it still won’t make the pimples go away!!!!! :'(


daisy July 18, 2014 at 5:04 am

Just started using this so let’s see after two weeks be back here to share with you the effect.


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